"The Tradewise Gibraltar Open is the strongest and best-organised event of its kind in the world" - Financial Times

Hikaru Nakamura wins the 2017 Tradewise Gibraltar Masters

Congratulations to Hikaru Nakamura (USA), winner of the Tradewise Gibraltar Masters for a third consecutive year. He defeated  GM David Antón Guijarro (ESP) after a tense two-game speed playoff. Ju Wenjun won the Women's prize and takes home £15,000.



Hikaru Nakamura receives his winners cheque for £23,000 and trophy from Tradewise Chairman James Humphreys. Hikaru scored 8/10 (+6,=4) and then won a playoff 1½-½ to take first prize.



 Final Standings | Prizewinners | Playoff Games & Video | All PGNs | More photos here and here |

Photo © Sophie Triay

Round 10 - Nakamura Rocks Gibraltar Again




John Saunders reports: Hikaru Nakamura won a third successive Tradewise Gibraltar victory, his fourth in total, after overcoming Yu Yangyi and David Anton Guijarro in a rapidplay tie-breaker on 2 February.


Though only third favourite on current rating, I'm sure he must have been many people's favourite before the event given his phenomenal ability to win open tournaments, and the Tradewise Gibraltar Masters in particular. The rough and tumble of open tournaments does


Round 10 report | Annotated Games from Rd10 |


Photos from Rd10 by John Saunders and by Sophie Triay


Left: Nakamura met Antón Guijarro in the tie-break final.

Hou Yifan gives away her final round in five moves




Women’s World Champion Hou Yifan from China has apologised for giving away her game this morning against Lalith Babu M R from India in the last round of the Tradewise Gibraltar Chess Festival within five moves.


In an exclusive interview with the Festival press team Hou Yifan tells Tania Sachdev she apologised to chess players, to her fans and those following the Gibraltar Masters.


Hou Yifan said she had been dissatisfied and had been upset with the pairings throughout the tournament as she had drawn seven women players out of 10 rounds.


Read more in this press release from Alice Mascarenhas.



Farewell from Gibraltar 2017

Another memorable Tradewise Chess Festival comes to an end so farewell again from Gibraltar for another year. The traditions of this great event, built up over 15 years make us very proud. This is a fabulous tournament, a unique venue, dedicated people, great players and personalities and charming weather. See you next year for the 16th Edition, Monday, 22nd January - Thursday, 1st February, 2018.

Sandy Beach, just a short walk from the Caleta Hotel, January 2017.

Long Story Short: Hou Yifan, Queen of Chess


'Chess is a part of my life, but it is not my whole life!' ... Four-time women's world champion, Hou Yifan, gives a candid interview with Tania Sachdev.


Hou Yifan was the youngest ever to win the title, as well as the youngest female player ever to qualify for the GM title.


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Round 9 - David Slays Goliath




John Saunders reports: The penultimate round of the Tradewise Gibraltar Masters finally saw a single player emerge from the field to take the lead, and that player is 21-year-old Spanish GM David Antón Guijarro, ranked 24th in the field in Gibraltar.


He played a forceful positional game with Black to overcome Veselin Topalov, who seemed to be completely out of sorts, surprising us all with a premature resignation. Other games between the leaders were drawn, while five players in the 6 point score group won.


Round 9 report | Annotated Games from Rd9 |


Photos from Rd9 by John Saunders and by Sophie Triay


Left: David Antón Guijarro (Spain) leads going into the final round.

10 Facts You Didn’t Know About Gibraltar


Nagging women were taken to City Mill Lane, then known as Whirlgig Lane where they were tied to a contraption which whirled rapidly round and round until they stopped nagging.


The Gibraltar Tourist Board Head Office, Duke of Kent House, has its own resident ghost who apparently pushes past people in the corridor of this 19th century House.


The ghost is rumoured to be a traumatised soldier who worked under the Duke of Kent in 1802.


Read more facts here ...


Left: The Europa Point Lighthouse, inaugurated in 1841.


Deputy Chief Minister makes his 15th visit


From its inception, Dr Joseph Garcia, Deputy Chief Minister of Gibraltar, has given his support to the Gibraltar chess festival. Dr Garcia has visited the tournament annually throughout its 15 year history and making this his fifteenth annual visit.


Having just landed in Gibraltar following a Gibraltar Government official visit to the European Parliament to Brussels this week, Dr Garcia quipped, in an interview on our official website, “you could say I have had breakfast in Brussels, lunch in London and now tea in Gibraltar at the festival”.


Read more in this press release from Alice Mascarenhas


Left: Deputy Chief Minister (r) is met by Brian Callaghan OBE.

Tradewise Gibraltar Chess Stars Question Time


Tania Sachdev puts some of Tradewise Gibraltar's top 2017 players on the spot with quick-fire questions!


You may be surprised by their answers and Tania cleverly doesn't allow them much time to think. That's definitely the best way!


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Round 8 - Happy Birthday to Ju




John Saunders reports: After an unpromising start, with most of the leading games ending in draws, round eight of the Tradewise Gibraltar Masters sprang to life towards the end of the first session and delivered some pulsating games of chess.


By the end of the round, a fifth player had been added to the group of players on the top score when Veselin Topalov defeated Emil Sutovsky.


Round 8 report | Annotated Games from Rd8 |


Photos from Rd8 by John Saunders and by Sophie Triay


Left: Ju Wenjun celebrated her 26th birthday in style.

Masterclass 4 - Tues 31 Jan


Our fourth and final Masterclass for 2017 was a two-part presentation. Part 1 was with Polish GM Kacper Piorun, a four-time chess problem solving world champion and part 2 with GM Nigel Short who takes us through one of his wins from the Masters tournament, followed by a revealing Q&A session.


Your host as usual was Tournament Director Stuart Conquest.


Watch the entire show recorded LIVE at the Caleta Hotel.


All Masterclasses from 2017 can be viewed again here.


The other side of Chess in Gibraltar


For 15 years chess players have returned to the Tradewise Gibraltar Chess Festival, repeating their experience year on year. You may ask yourself, why? The answer is simple. Gibraltar offers much more than just the best chess.


His Excellency the Governor of Gibraltar Lieutenant General Edward Davis hosted a special Festival dinner at The Convent. Women’s World Champion Hou Yifan from China and last year’s Tradewise winner Hikaru Nakamura from the USA were amongst the guests as was Gibraltar’s Minister for Sport and Culture Steven Linares, tournament organiser Brian Callaghan, tournament director Stuart Conquest, and president of the English Chess Federation Dominic Lawson.


Read more in this press release from Alice Mascarenhas.

Round 7 - Hou Loves Ya, Baby




John Saunders reports: Once again there was an impressive percentage of decisive games amongst the top boards – 14 out of the top 20 – and we now have four players on the leading score of 6/7: Hikaru Nakamura (USA), Maxime Vachier-Lagrave (France), David Anton Guijarro (Spain) and Yu Yangyi (China).


Antoaneta Stefanova (Bulgaria) is now the front runner for the women's prize with 5½ but Hou Yifan stole the limelight with a spectacular win against Borya Ider of France.


Round 7 report | Annotated Game from Rd7 |


Photos from Rd7 by John Saunders and by Sophie Triay


Left: Anton Guijarro v Nakamura soon fizzled out to a draw

Lord Admiral Nelson and the Trafalgar Cemetery


Horatio Nelson (1758-1805) a British Admiral, was one of the greatest seamen in history.


Nelson was struck down by a shot while gaining his most famous victory - at Trafalgar.


The beginning of the great battle was marked by Nelson’s famous signal: “England expects every man will do his duty.” Nelson died, on his ship the Victory, as the battle was ending.


Read more ...


Masterclass 3 - Mon 30 Jan


Our third Masterclass was with  Iranian IM Sarasadat Khademalsharieh. Amongst her many chess achievements she played for the Iranian team at the Women's Chess Olympiads of 2012, 2014 and 2016 and won the Iranian women's championship of 2015.


Your host as usual was Tournament Director Stuart Conquest.


Watch the entire show recorded LIVE at the Caleta Hotel.


All Masterclasses from 2017 can be viewed again here.


Gibraltar’s Equality Minister revisits chess


Gibraltar’s Equality and Social Services Minister Samantha Sacramento revisited the Caleta Hotel today to see what moves were being played in the seventh round of the Tradewise Gibraltar Chess Festival.


This was her second visit having hosted the official Government Opening Dinner last Tuesday at the Caleta Hotel, on day one of the Gibraltar Masters.


Photos of the visit | Press Release from Alice Mascarenhas

Round 6 - Battle Royal on the Rock


John Saunders reports: Round six of the Tradewise Gibraltar Masters proved remarkably bloodthirsty as the top seven boards (and fifteen of the top twenty boards) ended in decisive results.


Three leaders emerged victorious from the smoking carnage to stand together on 5½/6: Hikaru Nakamura, still on course for a third successive title, English number one Mickey Adams, and Spain's 21-year-old star David Anton Guijarro. But the highlight of the day was the defeat of the world number two Fabiano Caruana by a reinvigorated Nigel Short.


Round 6 report | Annotated Game from Rd6 |


Photos from Rd6 by John Saunders and by Sophie Triay


Left: Nigel Short close to victory against Fabiano Caruana.

Round 5 - Disco Stu and the Battle of the Sexes



John Saunders reports: The middle Saturday of the Tradewise Gibraltar Chess Festival is dominated by the Battle of the Sexes match between elite teams of men and women – more on that further down – but before the evening extravaganza there was still the matter of round five of the Tradewise Gibraltar Masters to be negotiated.


After the game between the two leaders, Emil Sutovsky (Israel) and Ju Wenjun (China) ended in a fairly brief draw, the door was opened to other players to catch up with them.


Round 5 report | Annotated Games | Stuart & Tania Dancing


Photos from Rd5 by John Saunders and by Sophie Triay

Our Festival Photographers


You will see them here there and everywhere around the Caleta during the festival - our official photographers that is, Sophie Triay and John Saunders.


For those of you interested in the technology they point at you, Sophie is using a Canon EOS 5D Mark III and John, a Nikon D600.


Their galleries accessible from the 'Photos' menus above are already overflowing, with new pictures being posted every day.


So brush up, smile and be ready ... anything can happen!


A Testament of Time


Walking through the centre of Gibraltar is a walk through time. The city is encased by its original city gates and fortifications. Marvel at the intricate detail of the masonry that surrounds the gates that include:


Casemates Gates, opened in 1727, Landport Gates, reconstructed in 1729 by the British and Southport Gates, the original was built in 1552 in the reign of Emperor Charles V. the second bears the arms of Queen Victoria and General Sir John Adye, a former Governor.


Read more ...



5th Battle of the Sexes


The Battle of the Sexes is one of the most popular events in the social calendar of the Tradewise Gibraltar Chess Festival.


Now in its 5th Edition, this unique event took place on Saturday 28 Jan in the main restaurant.


The event is enjoyable and very competitive and always great fun with the boys vs. girls in a wild, happy event.


Watch all the action unfold and replay the games here.


Also see Tania and Stuart dancing after the match.


Chief Minister visits the chess festival


“We welcome you all with open arms,” Chief Minister of Gibraltar Fabian Picardo said today to the 254 competitors at the start of Round 4 in the Gibraltar Masters at the Tradewise Gibraltar Chess Festival.


Mr Picardo gave thanks to all competitors for being in Gibraltar again and making the festival such an important date in everyone’s chess calendar for the year.


Fabian Picardo is greeted by tournament organiser, Brian Callaghan.


Photos of the visit | Press Release from Alice Mascarenhas.

Round 4 - A Man and A Woman



John Saunders reports: The leadership in the Tradewise Gibraltar Masters has been whittled down from nine to two as Ju Wenjun (China) and Emil Sutovsky (Israel) are now the only players to have maintained maximum scores after the fourth round, played on 27 January 2017. They will meet in round five, with Ju Wenjun having the white pieces.


The gloves were off in round four as the higher rated started to assert themselves and there were a few more decisive results amongst the leading encounters. The only significant exception was Emil Sutovsky's victory over Nikita Vitiugov, though Sutovsky's 2628 rating doesn't really reflect his true class.


Round 4 report in full | Photos | Annotated Games

Masterclass 2 - Fri 27 Jan


Our second Masterclass was with Hou Yifan the current Women's World Chess Champion, the youngest ever to win the title, as well as the youngest female player ever to qualify for the title of Grandmaster.


Your host as usual was Tournament Director Stuart Conquest.


Watch the entire show recorded LIVE in the unique, webcasting suite at the Caleta Hotel.


All Masterclasses from 2017 can be viewed again here.


Round 3 - How to Draw with Your Dad


John Saunders reports: Nine players – Mickey Adams (England), Nikita Vitiugov, Vadim Zvjaginsev (both Russia), Sam Shankland (USA), Eduardo Iturrizaga (Venezuela), Emil Sutovsky (Israel), Maxime Lagarde (France), Kacper Piorun (Poland) and Ju Wenjun (China) – share the lead on 3/3 after another tough round of chess in the Tradewise Masters at the Caleta Hotel in Gibraltar.



The elite 2700+ players are still finding it very hard to impose themselves on the group of players rated 200 or 300 points below. Veselin Topalov picked up this point in his master class on Wednesday, stating that these days there is little or no difference in the quality of the first 10 to 15 opening moves between 2300-rated players and the elite.


Round 3 report in full | Photos | Annotated Games

Long story short: Interview with Boris Gelfand


Tania Sachdev in conversation with six-time World Championship Candidate Boris Gelfand at the Tradewise Gibraltar Chess Tournament 2017.


Gelfand has won major tournaments at Wijk aan Zee, Tilburg, Moscow, Linares and Dos Hermanas. He has competed in eleven Chess Olympiads and has held a place within the top 30 players ranked by FIDE since January 1990


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Things to do in Gibraltar For Free


Stand at Europa Point the southernmost point of Gibraltar and view two continents from one spot, Africa to the south and Europe to the north while the Atlantic Ocean and Mediterranean Sea converge in the Strait. Legend dictates that the lost city of Atlantis could lie somewhere beneath these waters.


Take a walk through history in the Alameda Botanical Gardens which were planted on instruction by Lieutenant-Governor Sir George Don in 1816. They centred around the town’s Grand Parade where British troops could relax on their free days.


Read more ...

Gibraltar’s Governor visits the chess festival


Yesterday the 2017 Tradewise Gibraltar Chess Festival saw a visit from Governor Lieutenant General Edward Davis who saluted all the chess players participating in the 15th edition of the tournament.


“I would like to salute you all, your ability on the boards and also your loyalty to this competition. If it was not for you, it would not happen. Keep coming back and I wish you all the best of luck in the competition and in your matches today,” he said at the start of Round 3 in the Gibraltar Masters in the main playing area in the Augustus Suite.


Photos of the visit | Press Release from Alice Mascarenhas

Round 2 - Bad Day at Black Rock


John Saunders reports: Last year's winner Hikaru Nakamura, Mickey Adams, Yu Yangyi, Nikita Vitiugov and Arkadij Naiditsch are now the sole possessors of a 100% score to go with a 2700+ rating at the end of the second round of play at the Tradewise Gibraltar Masters on Tuesday as their elite colleagues struggled to do better than draw, and in one calamitous case, to lose against more modest opposition. In total 37 players are still on 2/2.


I couldn't resist borrowing the title of the old Spencer Tracy for today's second round of the Tradewise Gibraltar Masters as it seems so apt, both on the board and off.


Round 2 report in full | Photos | Annotated Games

Masterclass 1 - Wed 25 Jan


Our first Masterclass of 2017 was given by the fabulous GM Veselin Topalov, a former World Chess Champion.


He won the  FIDE World Chess Championship in 2005, scoring  a fantastic 6½/7 in the first cycle.


Veselin also won the 2005 Chess Oscar.


Watch the entire show recorded LIVE in the unique, webcasting suite at the Caleta Hotel. Your host as usual was the colourfully attired Tournament Director Stuart Conquest.


All Masterclasses from 2017 can be viewed again here.


The Governor’s Residence- A Haunted Place


Ghost stories are not a rare phenomenon in Gibraltar. The most famous ghost is the Lady in Grey, who is believed to be nun who turned ghost at the Governor’s official residence – The Convent.


The Convent has been the official residence of the Gibraltar Governor since 1728. It was originally a Convent of Franciscan Friars. A guard mount takes place at the main entrance by the Royal Gibraltar Regiment Guard and today the Convent and its adjoining Chapel is a favourite spot for tourists.


Read more ...




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